William Eichler 01 June 2023

Sheffield unveils ‘autism-friendly’ plans

Sheffield unveils ‘autism-friendly’ plans  image
Image: Dubova / Shutterstock.com.

Sheffield Council has unveiled plans to make the city more ‘autism-friendly’.

Many people with autism felt they were misunderstood and faced barriers at work, school and accessing health services and the justice system, according to a consultation carried out by the council.

The new strategy will include providing training about autism to staff in frontline services and improving the public's understanding and acceptance of the condition.

It calls for conversations with families affected by ausentism from school year nine, reducing diagnosis waiting times and ensuring all schools are accessible for neurodiverse people.

A report estimated there could be between 8,500 and 20,000 people with the condition living in Sheffield.

Some people told the council there was a perception that they were stupid, or rude or ‘not autistic enough’ to need help.

The strategy is set to be approved at a meeting of the council’s strategy and resources committee.

Officers said the vision would take time to achieve and the council planned to publish an annual review to keep it on track.

The report says: ‘The strategy outlines Sheffield's commitment to strengthen autistic individuals' voices in the city, family members' and carers' voices and continue to reach out to the seldom heard.’

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